Becoming a minister for the first time in the UPA-II government Monday, Oscar Fernandes, a senior Congress leader from Karnataka, has held key posts in the party and the previous Manmohan Singh government.
Fernandes, 72, was junior minister for labour and employment 2006-08 in the first United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government. Before that, he held portfolios such as statistics and programme implementation, NRI affairs and youth and sports.
Becoming a party general secretary in 1996, he also headed the important Central Election Committee of the Congress till Sunday when the post went to Madhusudan Mistry in the party organisational re-shuffle.
First elected to the Lok Sabha in 1980 from Udupi in Karnataka, he was re-elected to the lower house of parliament in 1984, 1989, 1991 and 1996 from the same constituency.
He was elected to the Rajya Sabha in 1998 and was re-elected in 2004.